One woman's story is shedding light on one of the sad realities of foster care.
Blogger Jamie, who pens Foster the Family, is an experienced foster parent – according to ScaryMommy, she and her husband have been foster parents for three years, in which time they've fostered ten children. Jamie shared a heartfelt blog post, "She Doesn't Know What Mommy Means," originally written last year. But after being picked up by the Facebook page Love What Matters earlier this week, Jamie's story quickly went viral.
Accompanying a photo of a blonde toddler, Jamie shared her experience fostering a 2-year-old girl. Having spent five months in foster care, the little girl had been with five other foster families and was accustomed to the routine. She was given a tour of her new temporary home by Jamie's other foster and biological children, and just 11 minutes after she arrived she said, "Look mommy!" to Jamie, the woman she'd just met.
Jamie's heart sank, realizing how quickly the little girl became attached and how casually she used the word "mommy." "To this little girl, 'mommy' meant the female adult of the house, the lady who reached something you couldn't and refilled your juice," the blogger wrote. "Having five 'mommies' in five months, she hadn't yet had the chance to learn what mommy meant."
The foster mother continued by describing what it means to truly be a "mommy" to a child. "Mommy meant falling asleep on shoulders, kissing skinned knees, teaching ABCs. Mommy meant helping homework, whispering about friends, sitting outside dressing rooms," she said. "Mommy meant taking pictures at graduation, hugging on wedding day, cuddling grandchildren. Mommy meant security. Mommy meant commitment. Mommy meant life-long love."
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. As Jamie noted in her original post, her 2-year-old former foster child had a biological mother who was "working hard to get her back." Sure enough, in the comments to the Facebook post Jamie updated readers on the little girl's fate.
"I saw her from afar at the zoo a few months ago. It looked to me like she was with a foster family (children of different ages and races), so I was going to go up to talk to her and meet her new 'foster mom.' When the mom turned around, she was the EXACT image of her, so I knew it was her bio mom. I didn't go up and say anything, but I was so happy to see her with her mom, sitting in a wagon, well dressed and smiling and happy and at the zoo."
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